A structural calculation tailored to your needs
for stacked concrete blocks

Frequently asked questions and answers


We have included a number of frequently asked questions with answers from our structural engineers. If your question is not among them, please contact us by sending us an e-mail:

1. What are concrete blocks?

Concrete blocks are large Lego blocks, or building-blocks, that are made of concrete. The concrete used for the blocks is left over from building projects: so-called residual concrete.

This residual concrete is poured into moulds, producing concrete blocks with all the benefits mentioned in question 2.

2. What are the benefits of using concrete blocks?

Concrete blocks offer more flexibility. Because of the cams on top and the notches at the bottom, they can be stacked which prevents movement.

The result is an adaptable wall, which is reusable, sustainable and cheaper than poured concrete walls.

3. What are concrete blocks used for?

The possibilities for using these blocks are diverse: bunker silos and manure basins for the agricultural sector, bunker silos for groundwork, road works and waterway construction, (stepped) retaining walls, building walls for corporate halls/coverings and roadblocks.

4. Why is a calculation needed?

A calculation is required to ensure the stability of a stacked block wall. A wall with too much filling pressing against it can spontaneously fall over. Stacked concrete walls are not reinforced which means there is no flow process in the failure mechanism.

That is why they can ‘spontaneously’ fall over. Tipping safety is the key assessment criteria. This is how commissioning parties; testing authorities and users attain certainty about the stacked wall's level of safety.

5. Can I make this calculation myself?

A stability calculation for a concrete block wall is depending on several factors, such as wind, foundation, type of bulk, the dimensioning of the wall, and additional loads. In order to obtain a proper and economic perspective, you need a qualified structural engineer to prepare a calculation on stability.

ou can present this report to the Building Control Department.

6. The maximum allowable filling height is not as
expected, how is this possible?

Based on the Eurocodes, we are obliged to observe the minimum safety standards of 2.1. This means that the filling height is generally restricted by 25%.

Because of the increased risks of a retaining wall in relation to regular constructions, the standard has led to this choice. The risks lie in the fact that they are individual stacked blocks, the type of subsoil and the way it ends up on the subsoil.

7. Are they earthquake-resistant?

The foundation on which the concrete blocks are stacked on could be unstable in earthquake areas. This causes the stability to be affected negatively. The stability of a stacked wall is predominantly depending on the surface it is built on.

At Betonblockdesign we can provide you with an analysis of the stability level in earthquake areas.

8. Where can I buy concrete blocks?

There are several suppliers of both concrete blocks and their respective moulds. Unfortunately, as an independent structural engineer we cannot mention any names as we make calculations for various parties.

9. My question is not listed above, how can I get an answer?

If your question is not listed above, please contact us by phone +31 (0)182 231400 EN/NL during business hours (UTC+1) or send us an e-mail: berekening@betonblockdesign.nl

  • Pricing starts at € 300 for a basic
    calculation, exclusive of VAT.
  • Always including a structural
    calculation and report
  • Expert and independent
    structural advice
  • Tailored structural advice
    for your situation
  • Suitable for submission to the
    Building Control Department
  • Extra calculations are possible
    if tailor-made advice is requested